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The journal of an aspiring animation filmmaker. Inspiration, Film Analysis, Animation Art, Student Work, Book Notes, Book Store, Composing Pictures, and much more!

May 30, 2006

Great Stories

Hans Bacher has a great animation blog I hadn't heard of until last night, I found a link to it on the Animation Podcast Blogroll section.

One of the best parts about reading books like The Illusion of Life, The Art of Animation, and Paper Dreams is learning about the history of animation. Personally I love the personal stories, and I suspect everyone else does too, which is probably why the aforementioned Animation Podcast is so popular among the community.

These guys look familiar!

I know I'm always on the look out for new stories from any era of the art form, so this blog was a very pleasant surprise. Hans has a great collection of stories and photos from all the difference projects he's been involved with. Click the title to go there now.


May 25, 2006

The Outside World

It's hard being a student of animation. Any member of the club will tell you. Spending all your time hunched over a sketchpad, desk, or in front of a computer. Endlessly trying to understand the same basic principles. Always coming back to them and re-learning them. How long does it take for something so seemingly simple to sink in? (Say that ten times fast!)

I whole-heartedly agree with Glen Keane when he said that animation is the most difficult art to learn and master (or something like that).

So with animation occupying 99% of the brain these days, I found it a delightful surprise to accidentally open the wrong directory on my desktop and get a small glimpse of the past. Not too long ago, in the middle of my search for the right animation school, (which unfortunately turned out to be the wrong one, more on that later...) I got into photography. These pictures, into which I was immediately transported, are from a trip to Spain a few years back. Back came all the great feelings of being there. The heat, the beaches, the laid back lifestyle. A culture that knows how to live life.

I realized how busy my life is right now and how much a break like this would benefit me right now. Oh well, at least looking at them gave me something else to think about for five minutes, along with a nice nostalgic high completely unrelated to animation. I had to sell my camera to pay for tuition, but I'll pick one up again someday.


May 23, 2006

The Making of Disney World Part Two

The second clip from the Making of Disney World:



Steve MacLeod is currently a student at THE animation school, the one I wish I could attend the most. His short film entitled, "60% Cotton" blew me away. The staging, acting, and overall composition of the short is very well done. You can check his short at his blog or below:

On top of posting his own stuff, which is good enough to keep me coming back, he's nice enough to share some handouts he's privy to at Cal Arts. Like those of none other than Andreas Deja, here.

Great blog Steve, keep it up!

More noteworthy posts:

Baxter Visit
Brenda Chapman and Jason Katz
Walt Disney
Andreas Deja's House


May 18, 2006

How Can We "Plus It"?

Sooner than I thought, I'm able to share with you a couple of really interesting clips from the aforementioned Modern Marvels show on A&E last night. After these clips the show gets more technical, talking about the animatronics, stunts, and fireworks achievements reached at Walt Disney World. Enjoy!

(Second clip to follow shortly)


Great Inspirations Part 1

A list of a few people that inspire me in one way or another. Just off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, John Lasseter, Carlos Baena, Bobby Beck, Mike Kunkel, Dave Pimentel, Jenny Lerew, Tom Bancroft, Steve Gordon, Chris Sanders, Jean-Denis Haas, Mark Harris, Stephen Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, Walt Disney, Fred Moore, Walt Stanchfield, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Brad Bird, Victor Navone, Mark Andrews, Lou Romano, Jason Schleiffer, Keith Lango, Ansel Adams, Natalie Portman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Musker, Ron Clements, Alan Menken, Lalo Schifrin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Andrew Stanton, Ralph Eggleston, Pete Docter, Bill Peet, Preston Blair, Richard Williams, James Baxter, Eric Goldberg, Vance Gerry, Mary Blair, Charlie Chaplin, Joe Barbara, Nick Park, Hayao Miyazaki, Cameron Miyasaki, Brenda Chapman, Robin Luera, Matt Williames, Honoré Daumier, David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, Andrea Blasich, Art Babbit, Chuck Jones, Walter Murch, Teddy Newton, Robin William, and Joe Grant

If you don't know one of the names on the list, I urge you to look into them and their respective accomplishments. They're each magnificant in their own wright, granted some more than others, but each has played a pivotal role in shaping my artistic mindset.

Look out for many more incarnations of this post as more come to mind.


May 17, 2006

Disney World Special Tonight

Tonight at 9pm/8C on A&E, as part of the Modern Marvels series, there will be a two-hour documentary special on the making of Disney World. (Click title for link)

While looking for a good picture of Disney World to staple to this post, I came across this unrelated picture of old TV Guide cover from the 50s featuring Disney. I thought I'd share. (Look Jenny, I have vintage Disney ephemera on my site just like you! Gimme props...)

Here's the official synopsis:

"Journey underground and backstage at the technological marvel that is Walt Disney World. Enter a make-believe world spanning some 27,000 acres, brought to life by cutting-edge technology. What was once Florida swampland now boasts the world's largest theme park. The ride technology ranges from space-age centrifuges to enhanced motion vehicles powered by 3,000 PSI of hydraulic pressure. And hundreds of audio animatronics brought to life through the power of pneumatics, hydraulics, and electrical systems. Walt Disney World is made up of four separate theme parks, each with its own innovations: the 107-acre Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The four parks are all part of a megaplex of a resort. Twice the size of Manhattan, it was the final vision and crowning achievement of a man who spent more than 40 years pushing the limits of technology to create entertainment magic: Walt Disney."

For those of you that don't get A&E, don't worry. I'll be posting some clips later on in the week. Alternatively, you could also purchase the episode on DVD.


May 14, 2006

Character Design Inpiration

As I'm about to resume the journey of learning to draw well, I look to a lot of different sources for inspiration. For life drawing, I've posted links in previous posts, to those who inspire me a great deal.

The links in the right column of this page are full of people who can draw well and so inspire me immensely. As I was visiting these sites today I realised that perhaps my biggest inspirations, in fact my top three, aren't even listed there. Scandalous!

So in case you haven't had the opportunity to view the works of these geniuses of character design and drawing, here they are:

Mike Kunkel: Formerly employed at Disney, now continues his wicked style in inspirational design with his comic, "Herobear and the Kid".

Tom Bancroft: Another former Disney designer doing his own thing with his comic, "Opposite Forces".

Steven Gordon: With an amazing career and humongous gallery spanning animation, character design, and story art. Just click the link and waste an hour being amazed.


May 1, 2006

The Future

Been really busy lately working the reel. I've also been looking into Animation Mentor and other forms of continuing education in animation. Fortunately I have found my calling. Of course a scholarship grant always helps you make a decision...